Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Petition Started Urging Reconciliation Between LDS Church and LGBT Population

A petition has been created seeking the reconciliation between the Mormon LDS Church and the LGBT population and will be delivered to the church's headquarters on the first anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8.

The petition's website, LDSApology.org states:
By signing the Petition and spreading the word about it, you will be sending a message to the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that it is time for reconciliation. More importantly, you will be showing support for those who have been harmed by Church policies and practices because of their sexual orientation.
A part of the petition reads:
True reconciliation requires that parties on both sides of this issue be willing to honestly examine their attitudes, behaviors (including past behaviors), policies and practices—and be open to understanding, forgiveness (both asking for and accepting), and apology.

For individuals who have suffered or been forced to watch a loved one suffer mistreatment, misunderstanding, or demonization as a consequence of the LDS church's official policies, actions, and teachings regarding sexual orientation, we understand that true reconciliation will require rejecting redress through hostility, will take time, and be a difficult process.

For Church leaders, reconciliation requires examining ways in which official statements, rhetoric, policy and practice have been injurious to gays and lesbians and their families and friends; have caused unnecessary pain and suffering, rejection, psychological and spiritual damage and even death. This means scrupulously acknowledging such practices as “reorientation”-- reparative, revulsion, and shock-therapies; such teachings as homosexuality being an evil perversion, a condition that is chosen and changeable and one that can be overcome through fasting, prayer, sacrifice and heterosexual marriage; and using scriptures that are taken out of context, mistranslated or that are highly selective to condemn homosexuality. It also means to repudiate publicly circulated articles, essays, books, speeches, and conference addresses that have stereotyped or demonized gays and lesbians.
Though I am always for reconciliation between disputing parties, true reconciliation requires action on both sides to change behavior. To be constructive and not just empty words, full faith must be given to create a new beginning.

In this case, I don't see the Mormon church staying out of the 2010 marriage equality referendums facing both Maine and possibly again in California. Currently, the National Organization for Marriage is being investigated as being a front for the Mormon church, and whether or not it's true, asking the LGBT population to trust the church to keep to its promise of reconciliation will be near impossible. Nor will they ever believe the church will stick to its proper place when it comes to politics and voter referendums.

I truly wish that we could all come to a place of understanding, and I support the amazing intentions of the petitioners. From the beginning of this blog, I've stated that I was against focusing our anger on the Mormons for what happened here in California, and as this petition shows, not all Mormons agree with the church leaders. But I disagree with the website's notion "that the time is right for healing over this issue to begin." The harm is still too fresh and painful and ongoing.

I think true healing will begin once the LDS Church renounces its theological stance against the LGBT population, similar to what it did in regards to African Americans and polygamy. Maybe then can the long path to true reconciliation begin. Until then, I don't see this petition as anything more than empty words falling on the deaf ears of the church leadership, despite the good intentions. And that makes me sad.

But hopefully, it will begin a dialogue with the church. And that, I can support.

If you wish to read and sign the petition, you can find it at LDSApology.org.

To find out more about other Mormon groups that support marriage equality, check out Mormons For Marriage and Affirmation.


  1. I don't think the well-meaning instigators of this "Reconciliation" Petition know the first thing about Mormons. To ask them to stop fighting marriage equality is equivalent to inquiring if they wouldn't mind not breathing for a few days.

    Let's save OUR breath and not bother.

    It took a long time for me to make peace with my Mormon friends after Prop 8, but the things they said to me from their teachings and upbringings will never be forgotten. There can be no reconciliation with people of this faith-like cult.

  2. I agree. But I also think I am the only person who thinks that civil unions are a better idea than "marriage" because then it would kick religions out of the mix altogether. They wouldnt be able to claim that the state is trying to control the church.

  3. Indeed...Its all well and good to want peace and harmony between all BUT as you said...Its gotta be wanted on both sides and also as you pointed out, I dont see the fundietards giving up anytime soon nor am I willing to trust those who hang with them yet claim to be for equality. Words are fine but actions are priceless.

  4. The Mormon's circumspection about polygamy and African Americans came because of external forces.

    In the case of polygamy, Utah wanted to be admitted to the Union but was told it had to renounce polygamy.

    In the case of the century long discrimination against African Americans, it was the head of the Church being hauled into court to face a discrimination lawsuit.

    But there was no public change; the way the LDS Church handled both problems was to declare their Elder had a Prophecy which then changed Church dogma.

    Since it appears they responded to public pressure before, it might just require the same to get them to back away from the homophobia spigot.

    So such efforts at this petition are a good start to keep the pressure up. They seem to respond to public outing and exposure.

    So keep the pressure up. Do it in a loving, kind way to showcases our humanity and our dignity. Eventually they will be dragged onto the right side of history which will soon leap over them.

  5. Couldn't have said it better, Terry. Thank you.

    And good point about this petition possibly being seen by the church as a sign of external pressure which fits right in with the church's history of succumbing through "Elder Prophecy." Hadn't thought about it that way and you make an excellent point.